Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15th – Proverbs 15: A Love/Hate Relationship

“The way of the wicked is hateful to Jehovah, but He loves him who pursues righteousness.” – Proverbs 15:9

This scripture reveals several things about the Lord. First of all, it says that the Lord HATES the WAY of the wicked. It doesn’t say that he hates the wicked person, only their WAY. We’ve talked about it many times before on here, but our WAY determines our WALK. Wicked people have a WAY of walking that is detestable and hated in the sight of God. It’s a well-worn path, a road or course of wicked behavior that has become familiar to the wicked man. THIS is what God hates! And when we are talking about wickedness, it simply means WRONG. Morally for sure, spiritually maybe, but the bottom line is that they are wrong and walking the wrong WAY.

Just as righteous people have righteous habits, traits and characteristics and so do wicked people. The righteous worship God and serve their fellow man. The wicked worship their own thoughts and desires and serve themselves. The default of the righteous is to extend themselves for the benefit of their brothers and sisters; the default of the wicked is to extend themselves on behalf of themselves. All that the wicked contemplate is serving self and making their self happy. It’s irrelevant to the wicked who they hurt to attain their goal of self-satisfaction. Whether it’s making money, experiencing physical pleasure or achieving their goals, the wicked could care less who they hurt or how much they hurt on the way to THEIR goals.

Righteous people PURSUE righteousness. They run after, they follow and like the Hebrew word says, “Hunt” righteousness. Their PRIMARY concern is doing justly and they have made a habit of pursuing this way of life. The person who has righteousness is LOVED by God. Not just their WAY, but they personally are loved by Jehovah. That is an awesome promise! If we will run after and pursue righteousness, God will love us. It doesn’t say anything about attaining righteousness, it just says that the person pursuing this way of life will be loved by God. It’s interesting that the pursuit of righteousness has such a wonderful benefit. In the New Testament, we are told that simply pursuing righteousness will bring about a much different outcome.

“Yea, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” II Timothy 3:12

It’s amazing that this scripture doesn’t tell us that the achievement of righteousness will bring persecution, only the pursuit of righteousness. So yes, you will be persecuted as you attempt to lay hold of righteousness, but you will also be loved by God! I’d say that the benefits FAR outweigh the drawbacks.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” – II Corinthians 4:17

God LOVES the righteous, but the righteous will be persecuted for pursuing righteousness. Sounds fair to me! Everything costs something.

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